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The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

Francis Scott Key, Step Aside

New Iowa Bill Prompts the Idea to Replace the National Anthem
Picture found on BroBible.
Picture found on BroBible.

A controversial new bill was introduced in Iowa’s House of Representatives titled House Study Bill 587 which would require both students and teachers to stand and sing at least one verse of the national anthem daily and sing it entirely on “patriotic occasions” or opt-out. However, even if one chooses to opt-out, those who are physically able would still be required to stand at attention. The controversy comes as some legislators find that this bill is a violation of citizens’ First Amendment rights and it takes away valuable learning time.

Additionally, if a teacher is unable to participate in the singing of the anthem the school would be required to find a replacement to sing it in their classroom. What I am offering is not only replacing teachers who cannot sing but also replacing the song…

Following is my ranking of patriotic songs that should be offered as replacements in the classroom that would keep the students more entertained and broaden their musical horizons beyond the routine original by Francis Scott Key.

1.) “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver 

This song is simply a classic and truly needs no further explanation. Everyone knows it and would be able to sing it from memory unlike some of the verses of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The only issue with this song is it only focuses on West Virginia but in the grand scheme of things it encapsulates all of America in its lyrics and John Denver is a genius.

2.) “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood 

A personal favorite, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” is so patriotic that people from all sides of the political spectrum love it or love it ironically, but either way everyone loves it. This song plays in my head constantly and mentions many different states from coast to coast, whereas, the “Star Spangled Banner” was written before California was even founded. The main qualm some may take issue with is that it is very centered around religion and the nuclear family which may be less relevant to some Americans.

3.) “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel

This is the perfect song to wrap up America’s history quickly and it even mentions other countries such as both North and South Korea to which it could aid in diplomatic relations. In all honesty, I think I could have skipped American History class and instead just listened to this song and I probably would have retained around the same amount of information.

4.) “American Pie ” by Don McClean

Some may say “American Pie” is too long, some may say it is boring and some may say it is too sad. To those people, I say this song is amazing and unlike House Study Bill 587 I would require students to sing this song in its entirety no matter how long it is because it is just that good. Additionally, not only is the title a reference to the American classic, Apple Pie, and has references to Buddy Holly but it also recounts the 60s which was a pivotal age for America.

If Americans feel they want a more location-specific song to sing at the beginning of the school day, I have options for that too.

If you live on the East Coast it should be required to sing “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. The East Coast is entirely New York City no matter what anyone says about it and this song is incredibly catchy so who would object to it anyway?

Whereas, if you live on the West Coast I would take a similar approach and require “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by the Beach Boys because just as the East Coast is entirely New York, the West Coast is entirely California and its “beachy” energy and carefree lifestyle must be encapsulated.

Once again I will be generalizing a region to a single state and Southerners will be singing “Luckenbach Texas” by Waylon Jennings.

Unfortunately, I could not identify a singular song for the Midwest to sing as there are too many differences between our states, but I would want a song about it being cold, farming and Midwest nice.

The only song I will not allow us to sing is “Party In the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus because the American people do not deserve to be forced to listen to that song every day. Even if I can get into it once in a while it is too high energy for an everyday listen.

While the bill is unlikely to pass and has already faced major backlash, I am certain that if you offered up any of these songs as a replacement for the national anthem they might have a little more luck.

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Addy Happ, Newspaper Editor

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